A Novel-as-Explanation

Books by young men who have studied abroad always seem to begin in aeroplanes. The moment you read the first lines—a description
of the view from a window as a flight to Lahore comes in to land—it is evident that The Wish Maker is unlikely to defy the conventions that have sprung up around what is now a flourishing subgenre: the novel of explanation, in which a young Indian or Pakistani sets out
to somehow explain to a newly-interested world the nuances of his country’s past and present, with its coming of age neatly coinciding with his own.